Hatred and Harassment Still an Issue 

Heather Choi, Staff Writer

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Before the tragic mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, and in Dayton, Ohio, another incident occurred in Ohio. This time it took place in the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown. However, this incident was not a mass shooting. Instead, it was an uploaded video of a 20-year-old Ohio man on Instagram–  a video of himself firing a gun toward that place with sounds of screams and sirens in the background. The menacing short video was posted on July 11, 2019. His name is James Patrick Reardon, who also participated in the 2017 white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, according to The New York Times.        

Moreover, he appeared in an infamous interview conducted in 2017 by a National Geographic documentary about the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In The New York Times, Reardon voiced his opinion on what our world should be. Based on the video, he said, ̈ I want a homeland for white people, and I think every race should have a homeland for their race.¨ The last part he said was the worst part. ̈ We need someplace that can be a white homeland or we will bred out.¨  Due to these reasons, he told the interviewer that he doesn’t consider himself a neo Nazi, but he considers himself a white nationalist and a member of the alt-right, says the CNN.   

Although the suspect was held in the Mahoning County Jail for two charges, telecommunication harassment and aggravated menacing, the remaining evidence is rather appalling. According to CNN, the authorities have found countless images of Reardon or someone else firing a gun, as well as anti-Semitic comments in Reardon’s Instagram account. In addition, they found weapons and ammunitions inside of Reardon’s house, where his mom also lives. It also contained a body armor, a gas mask, and white nationalist material, according to the BBC.  Reardon entered the court with a not guilty plea and was ordered to be held on $250,000 bail. In addition, the BBC reported that if he could pay the bond, the judge would rule that the accused has to stay away at least 500ft (150m) from any Jewish center, refrain from social media usage, and abide by other restrictions. After the arrest, the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation released a statement of gratitude to the law enforcement for their “swift and strong response to this matter and for their continued willingness to keep the lines of communication open at all times,” says CNN.  

The big question is, when will these hate crimes will stop? How long do we have to see beautiful people harassed, or even killed, every day?  Aren’t we all human?